2014 Program Recap

The Summer Youth Philanthropy Internship Program allows The Heinz Endowments to incorporate a youth voice in its grantmaking by engaging young adults as grant and media makers. In 2014, the program included 52 interns working in 11 teams, each of which awarded $25,000 in grants. Nine of the teams were in Pittsburgh while two were based in Johnstown, where they worked with the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies.

Each team researched issues related to making our communities more sustainable and connected with experts to learn more about the field of philanthropy. Relying on their new knowledge, the interns developed and distributed requests for proposals to solicit project ideas for which they would consider funding. While waiting for grant proposals to be submitted, the interns learned about media and then produced short features highlighting issues in our communities that they cared about. Graduate fellow Megan Neuf guided the interns in their work day to day.

Four teams worked at the Endowments:

  • Arts Abound” was designed to support a program that engages Pittsburgh communities in the creation of public art. Interns on this project were Kelsey Miller, Josh Grail, Monye’ Holiday, William Mitchell and Sabrina Patak. The team also created a blog that documented the summer internship.
  • R.I.N.G.: Revitalizing Internal Neighborhood Growth” supported community events that involved collaborations among community centers, local businesses and residents. Interns on this team were Chad Wallace, Matthew Walker, Courtney Taylor and DeVaughn Robinson. The team also created a media project that looked at the effect of ride-sharing programs such as Lyft and Uber on transportation in Pittsburgh.
  • Safeguarding Sewers” funded projects that decreased the amount of storm and sewage water being forced into our rivers and educated the community about this issue. This team was comprised of Patrick Rielly, Liz Vargo, Allie Goldsmith, Demetrius Allen-Green and Jordan Owens. The interns also created a media project that examined Pittsburgh’s growing reputation as a hip city.
  • Mentor-CHIP: Children with Incarcerated Parents” included interns Lauren LeBlanc, Davis Cameron, Juliana Kochis, Bani Randhawa and Sarah Watkins. Their grantmaking provided mentoring services to children of incarcerated individuals. The team also created a media project that shed light on the issue of food insecurity in Pittsburgh.

Five teams were based at nonprofit agencies in Pittsburgh:

  • Working at Sustainable Pittsburgh, “The Astronomical Footprint” sought to reduce light pollution. The interns on this team were Alexandra Sorce, Symphony Kendrick, Willie James, Diamond Rodriguez and Nick Koebley. The team also created a media project that examined whether youths should be treated as adults in the criminal justice system.
  • Interns Jacalyn Sharp, Deion Carr, Jabari Anderson and Madeline Gettman worked with the Student Conservation Association on “G.E.A.R.: Gender Equity through Activities and Recreation.” Their grants supported programs offering student projects that confronted gender stereotypes. Their media project addressed the question “What is green?”
  • Sarah Heinz House hosted “The Advantageous Grant” team of Morgan Burton, Jack Dickens, Benjamin Friedman and Diamen Green, which funded programs that will help students develop and pursue their post-secondary education goals. The team also created a media project that explored the rights of individuals who are experiencing homelessness.
  • Support for Young Adults,” the team working with the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, supported efforts to assist youth who have aged-out of the child welfare system, but still need assistance to complete their post-secondary education and become independent adults. Interns were Jamahra Mosby, Javon Benjamin and Breanna Williams. For its media project, the team documented the internship through photography.
  • The United Way of Allegheny County’s team created “On the Shoulders of Giants: Fostering Knowledge Through After-School and Summer Programs.” Team members were Evan Sweeney, Kevin McDowell, Donshae Pollard, Ken Andrews and Malik Barber. The team also created a media project about murals in Pittsburgh.

Each of the 10 interns in Johnstown researched and wrote blogs that will soon be posted on the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies revamped website. Additionally, they worked in two teams to develop requests for proposals:

  • Interns Ryan King, Elizabeth Stiffler, Mikella Buncich and Dan Klein worked with senior intern Kendra Slis to fund a program they called, “Hometowns Exposed - What’s in Your Backyard?” This marketing program, with a mobile application as the driving force, is geared to teens and young adults to promote activities and events in Bedford, Cambria and Somerset counties.
  • Interns Jonathan Skufca, Abigail Paonessa, Kaitlyn Thomas and Nathan Madison worked with senior intern Anthony Wagner to fund a program they called, “KEYS: Knowing, Eating & Yearning for Sustainability.” It aims to address food insecurity through an educational program for middle school students and their families focused on improving nutrition, accessing local food programs, working with community gardens, and creating healthy meals and healthy lifestyles.

Interns in both cities worked with SLB Radio to create audio features that cover a range of community issues. While SLB provided training and coaching, the features presented here were conceived and created entirely by the students in a single week. The interns in Pittsburgh produced the sixth season of “The Green Compass,” and the interns in Johnstown created the second season of “Inclined to Care.” The recordings can be accessed online and also will be broadcast on SLB’s weekly radio program, The Saturday Light Brigade.